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05.02.2008 16:15

Historic efficiency in defence

Jaume Marcet

The present day Barça’s defensive record is the best for years. Not since 1986-87 have Barcelona let in less than 14 goals in their first 22 league matches.

14 goals in 22 games is quite some defensive record for Frank Rijkaard in the league. No side even comes close to such statistics, with Real Madrid next in line with 18 goals against.

Historic comparisons

fcb-depor-mxrquez.jpgThese are the best defensive stats of the Rijkaard era, and in fact you have to go as far back as the 1986-87 season under Terry Venables and with Andoni Zubizarreta in goal to find anything better. That year only 9 goals had been conceded at this stage of the season.

Other seasons where the stats were comparably impressive were in 1972-73, when Reina had only let in 10 goals, and 1968-69, when Sadurní had conceded 12.

Merit for an attacking team

But these stats are especially impressive coming from a team with such an attacking focus. Frank Rijkaard always likes his side to control the match and go out in search of three points. And such attacking football always risks exposing yourself at the back, but the way things are going for Barça can only lend support to the old adage that 'the best form of defence is attack'.
Historic efficiency in defence
Other strong defensive sides
There have been other fine records in the League by other clubs though. One case is the 95-96 season when Atlético Madrid only let in 11 goals in 22 games. Only Mallorca, in the 98-99 season, and Getafe last season, have managed to come close to Barcelona’s displays in defence.

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